Alex finds a genie's lamp, his every wish will be granted he is told, and then some.
Be Careful What You Wish For
Walking down the alley, Alex couldn’t help but notice the shiny object protruding from a nearby trashcan. He was on a bad streak of luck, but seeing the shiny orb made him pause. After all, perhaps he could sell it and get a little money. Reaching out, he grabbed the object, and realized it looked a bit like the lamp from ‘A Thousand and One Arabian Nights’. He knew that was just a story, but couldn’t resist rubbing it. After all, there was a smudge on one side below the lid.
“Ho there! Who is it that awakens me from my slumber?”
“Holy Shit!” Alex exclaimed, almost dropping the object.
“Now, now young man, there’s no need to use language like that. I was merely asking who it was that woke me. After all, I’m now here to grant your every wish, and then some!”
“But wait a minute, Genies don’t really exist. This has to be a trick of some kind!” Alex looked around, trying to spy someone projecting the genie’s image and voice. He could see nothing out of the ordinary, but was still cautious.
“I can see the doubt in your eyes young man, but let me reassure you, I am 100% real. I am Balthazar, a Genie from Persia, ready to grant your every wish, and then some.”
“My every wish? I thought a genie only granted three wishes.”
“You must have read too many foolish books as a youngster. I will grant your every wish, and then some. Being a member of the 4G Society, I am not bound to grant just three wishes.”
“You keep saying ‘and then some’ about wishes I may make. What do you mean by that?”
“Have you ever heard the saying, ‘Be careful what you wish for'?’”
“Yeah, it was one of my mother’s favorite sayings. But what do you mean by that, and what the heck is the 4G Society?”
“First things first, the 4G Society is a society of genies dedicated to granting wishes for those who find their lamp…”
At this, Alex interrupted him and said, “Yes you’ve said that, but what does the 4G stand for?”
“Well, if you’d just be a little patient, I was about to tell you. Now, when you’re a member of the 4G Society, you aren’t bound by the old ‘three wishes’ rule. The society was actually started by me, the four G’s are Generous Genies Generating Goodwill. Your every wish will be granted, and then some.”
“Wait, wait, wait. What do you mean ‘and then some’?”
“Once again, a little patience young man, I was about to tell you. When you make a wish, it will be granted, as long as you state out loud, “I wish…”. What you just wished for will happen almost immediately. But like I said, be careful what you wish for. Your wish will be granted, but so will a second one, something you didn’t wish for. I live in that lamp in your hands there, it has everything I need. I’ll hear your wish as long as you possess the lamp;., and grant it, and the second wish as well.”
“So I have to be holding the lamp to make a wish?”
“No, once again, you’re believing those children books. As long as you own the lamp, I will grant your wishes. If you should ever get rid of it, your wishes will no longer come true. But you can’t just throw the lamp away to get rid of it, you must give it to someone else. If you leave it lying around, your wishes will still be granted until someone else picks it up, and rubs that small dirty spot like you did. Capiche?”
“Capiche? Oh yeah, I understand.”
“Good, I’m going back to my lamp, it’s much quieter there.”
“Wait a minute! How do I make a wish?”
“Weren’t you listening a minute ago? All you have to do is say, “I wish”, then state what your wish is, and I will grant it.” With that said, the genie became a puff of smoke and slid back into the lamp.
‘Wow, just like in the cartoons,’ Alex thought. ‘I sure wish I had a nice hot cheeseburger.’ He thought, and waited for it to appear. Nothing happened though, so he thought of it again. Still nothing happened. Muttering to himself about genies and their inability to grant wishes, he rubbed the lamp again.
“What, already? What’s wrong now young man?”
“You aren’t granting my wishes. I asked for a nice hot cheeseburger, but nothing happened.”
“You did not.”
“Did not! I did not hear a word from you.”
“Well I thought my wish.” Alex said sheepishly. “You mean I have to say the wish out loud?”
“You don’t listen well at all do you? I specifically said you have to say your wish aloud so I can hear it. Now if you don’t mind, I really do prefer to be in my lamp.” The genie once again became a puff of smoke, but before it disappeared in to the lamp, he reappeared to Alex. “Oh wait, I did forget to tell you one thing. While you can wish as many times as you want, you can only wish once a day. So choose wisely when you do wish. Now bye!”
Alone again, Alex repeated his first wish, this time aloud. “I wish I had a nice hot cheeseburger in my hands.”
As soon as he finished saying the words, his hands were moved together by an unseen force, and a cheeseburger appeared in them. ‘That’s what I’m talking about.’ Alex thought to himself. Lifting his hands, he took a large bite from the burger. Almost immediately he felt an overwhelming burning on his tongue and throat. His throat constricted and threatened to close completely, while his tongue felt as if molten lead had been poured on it. Cursing loudly and unaware of what he was doing, he threw the burger on the ground and ran to a nearby store.
The clerk in the store was startled by his appearance. What had been a quiet afternoon was shattered by a young man running in gasping for air, his face more red than a beet, sweat pouring off his brow, screaming for something to drink. Fearing for the young man’s life (and his own), he quickly handed him a bottle of water, then turned and dialed 9-1-1. Thirty minutes later things were under control; the paramedics were trying to determine what had caused the incident.
“What did you have to eat Alex?”
“Honestly, I just took one bite of a nice hot cheeseburger. I’d just gotten it a moment before, and took just that one bite, and the pain hit.” Despite his recent ordeal, Alex knew better than to tell them about the genie and how he’d wished for it. He decided it would be best to let them think he’d purchased the burger.
“Where is the burger now?”
“Well, I threw it on the ground over there when it happened.” Alex pointed in the direction of the entrance to the alley as he said this. The paramedics looked at each other, then walked with Alex to the alley. After a little searching they found the burger scattered in small area. One of the paramedics gasped as they sifted through it.
“This is a ghost pepper, it’s been bitten in half!” Looking at Alex he said, “You put a ghost pepper on your cheeseburger? You are one crazy dude!”
“What the heck is a ghost pepper?” Alex asked.
“It’s a pepper from an area in India, it’s the hottest pepper in the world, about 2,000 times hotter than a jalapeno.”
Hearing this, Alex remembered the genie’s warning, “Be careful what you wish for.” He thought back to his wish, and remembered he had wished for a ‘nice hot cheeseburger’. He also remembered that his wishes would be granted, ‘and then some’. It was at this point that Alex understood the true meaning of the genie’s statement.
"Oh, I thought it was just a jalapeno. Guess I should have been more careful."
Later that week, Alex was at a club with three of his friends. They usually gathered here for a drink or two, each hoping they’d ‘get lucky’ that night. Being that each of them was somewhat nerdy, they usually sat alone all night long. Suddenly Ron tapped Alex on the knee and pointed to his left. “Hey look dude! Do you see the ta-ta’s on that babe?”
“Ron, you are so eighties! Get with it man. Who are you so excited about?”
This time Ron grabbed his head and turned it to follow the woman as she walked by. Alex could only stare as a brunette in a very short dress walked past the four of them. He muttered softly under his breath, but Ron couldn’t quite hear what he said.
“What did you say?”
“I said, ‘I wish I could hop in bed with her and make her forget every other man she’s been with.’” Alex replied.
“Yeah, you and about every other man in this bar.” Ron said.
As he finished saying that, the brunette stopped and looked around. Her eyes settled on the four of them as a smile crossed her face. She slowly sauntered towards them, her hips swaying seductively.
“Don’t look now man, but I think she heard you! You are in deep shit!” Ron seemed to cower behind his drink, seemingly wishing he could disappear into thin air, afraid to face the woman.
Stopping in front of Alex, she looked at him and said, “You’re the most interesting man I’ve seen tonight. How about you take me home and make me forget every other man I’ve ever known?”
Hearing this, Ron, Dave, and Rick sputtered in their drinks, trying hard not to choke. Alex turned a bright shade of red and looked around; he was sure she was talking to someone else.
“I mean you, you young stud, c’mon, let’s go somewhere private.” She grabbed Alex by the arm and walked him out of the club, leaving his friends sitting there staring in amazement.
That night was one Alex would never forget. Not only did he lose his virginity, but by the time she left he was sure he would never be able to move again. Their lovemaking was passionate, their bodies perspiring as they pleased each other. He couldn’t remember how many orgasms he had, and knew she had just as many, if not more. It wasn’t until a few days later that he felt a burning sensation as he urinated, followed a few hours later by a yellowish discharge from his penis.
A trip to the doctor confirmed his worst fears, he had contracted gonorrhea, commonly known as ‘the clap’. Fortunately, the infection had not progressed rapidly, and a prescription of ceftriaxone cured it in a few days. Once again, Alex reflected on what he’d wished for. The genie’s words ‘and then some’ haunted him once again.
Over the next few months, Alex learned to live his mother’s old warning, ‘Be Careful What You Wish For’. Every time he voiced a wish, it was granted. But there was always something he didn’t wish for. He recalled wishing he had enough money to buy the car of his dreams. The money was in his pocket immediately, but before he could purchase the car, he was robbed by an old woman wielding a cane and umbrella. After his seventh or eighth wish, he learned not to voice any wishes at all.
About six months later, he was driving down the street in his old car when the radio station started playing a series of songs from commercials. Alex couldn’t help smiling as he listened, he had a lot of fond memories from some of these. He listened to the old ‘Get that Pepsi Feeling’ tune, along with many others. He wasn’t surprised to find himself singing along to the catchy tunes. After all, he’d grown up listening to these, and had loved many of them (though at the time he had been annoyed at some also). Suddenly, one of his all-time favorites came on, and he sang along loudly.
“Oh I wish I were an Oscar Meyer Weiner….”
Suddenly the world as Alex knew it changed, and he felt like he was swaddled like a baby. He couldn’t move, couldn’t speak, nor really see, but he knew his world was a tannish-brown color. He felt his world move suddenly, it seemed like he was being both pressed gently and moved around at an almost dizzying speed.
“Here honey. A nice package of Oscar Meyer Hot Dogs for the kids! They’ll be perfect for them while we have our Rib-Eye Steaks!
Alex could still think, and realized what had happened. His wish had been granted! He felt his ‘world’ being moved again, listened to the beeps and other sounds at the checkout stand, then all was quiet for a bit. He couldn’t help but wonder what the second part of this wish would be. After all, his wish had been granted, but what could be worse than this? He couldn’t speak to wish he was human again, all he could do was wait.
Suddenly he heard voices again. “Honey, the grill’s almost ready, the coals are nice and hot. Bring the hot dogs out here please.”
Alex found his mind slowly losing its grip on reality. But he had enough thought left to wish to himself, ‘Oh please, not the coals, please, don’t let me burn!’
“Brian, don’t forget to save a hot dog for Roxy.”
“Sandy, you know she has no teeth!”
“Oh she’ll be fine, just toss one to her, she can gnaw at it. She’ll love it!”
Alex felt himself being lifted, his world seemed to spin and whirl for a short moment, and if he could have voiced anything, he would have grunted as the world stopped spinning. He realized he’d been thrown on the ground. Suddenly he could hear a loud sniffing, followed by a sense of being licked. He realized that he was about to be dinner for an old toothless dog. One of his last thoughts was of both his mother’s, and the genie’s warning. “Be Careful What You Wish For.”